England head coach Eddie Jones says his squad is moving in the right direction and says they are determined to create history and be the first side to win three consecutive RBS 6 Nations titles.
Jones’ side defended their Championship with victories over France, Wales, Italy and Scotland, however missed out on the chance to defend the Grand Slam with defeat to Ireland.
He will now use the summer tour to Argentina to improve the depth of the squad, but is satisfied with their progress.
“We are in a much better position than we were 12 months ago and we are in a much better position than we were six months ago,” said Jones.
“I’ve learned more about the players, the team has developed, we are more adaptable and have greater depth. We are moving in the right direction.
“At the end of the day, we have back-to-back RBS 6 Nations trophies which is a fine achievement.”
A tournament record
Defeat to Ireland also saw England’s record unbeaten run of 18 matches come to an end missing out on a world record for successive victories while also ending their hopes of becoming the first side in the professional era to win back-to-back Grand Slam titles.
However, Jones says his side can still achieve greatness.
“The great thing for us is that we’ve won back-to-back RBS 6 Nations trophies and no one has ever won three in a row,” he said. “So we are still in a position where we could achieve a record in the competition.”
Jones says England have improved the depth of the squad but he has identified three positions: tighthead prop, outside half and full back as areas where they still need to strengthen.
Strength in depth
And with several key members of the squad likely to tour New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions this summer, he sees the two-Test series in Argentina as the perfect opportunity to add experience to the group.
“2017 has always been about improving the depth of the squad,” he said.
“I’d like to think at the end of the year we’ll have a greater depth, will have three or four players for each position and if we do that I’ll look back at 2017 as a successful year.
“We go to Argentina for two Tests, we know they are going to be at full strength. We are playing in towns with hostile crowds and it’ll be a great learning experience.
"It’s going to be fun, a great cultural experience and a great chance to see where young players are up to and whether they can be exposed to a World Cup in two years’ time.”